Mini-grids have emerged as a viable technology to accelerate access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa. However, for mini-grids to become sustainable and scalable commercially, profitability must improve. That’s why the Mini-Grid Innovation Lab, established by CrossBoundary Advisory and the Rockefeller Foundation in 2018, works with mini-grid developers to identify and test innovative prototypes that improve the business model.
As the prototypes generate results, the Lab shares evidence of their impact, and works closely with partners — developers, governments and funders — to scale these prototypes across participating developers and markets. So far, the Lab has tested 11 innovations with 27 developers in nine countries across 118 sites.
Considering how critical distribution infrastructure is to mini-grids, the Mini-Grid Innovation Lab commissioned a study, starting in 2020, that aimed to answer the question.